A Travellerspoint blog

2022 - Possible trip

2021 becomes 2022?

So 2021 was Covid off! So we move to 2022....

https://czeching-out.travellerspoint.com/26/

Posted by InvictaMoto 22:26 Archived in Czech Republic Comments (0)

Sedlec Ossuary & Prague

"Dem bones, dem bones"

I had seen this on the "Long Way Round" TV programme where two actors and a large film crew and "fixers" and "minders" had ridden around the world on BMW R1150GS-Adventure motorcycles. Although I have been to the ČR many times, and had lived there for a year, I had never been here.

We were on the way home from our friends' house in Popůvky and our overnight was to be in Prague at a hotel we have stayed in many times since the mid-90's.

I had read about Kutna Hora in Czech booklets aimed at the business tourist and they seemed to be more interested in the area as the tobacco growling region of the ČR. In fact Philip Morris, the company that gave us the Marlboro Man (and him lung cancer) has a museum here.

Sedlec Ossuary is actually to the north-east of Kutna. The fame of the place has spread far and wide and finding somewhere to park wasn't easy. We ended up a street or two away and walked back. Once inside though and WOW! As you can see from the web link below, and the photos I took. WEIRD!

Church of Bones - Kutna Hora

Church of Bones - Kutna Hora

Church of Bones - Kutna Hora

Church of Bones - Kutna Hora

Church of Bones - Kutna Hora

Church of Bones - Kutna Hora

Church of Bones - Kutna Hora

Church of Bones - Kutna Hora

Church of Bones - Kutna Hora

Church of Bones - Kutna Hora

Church of Bones - Kutna Hora

Church of Bones - Kutna Hora

Church of Bones - Kutna Hora

Church of Bones - Kutna Hora

Church of Bones - Kutna Hora

Church of Bones - Kutna Hora

I guess once you are dead and only the bones are left you don't really care what happens to them? Maybe made into coat of arms design or stacked up with a few mates?

Once we had finished we set off to S2 and the run into Prague. One night again. I had booked the car-parking at the Hotel Extol Inn in Přístavni Prague 2. It's small and it makes it easier than messing about in the streets. Once parked it would stay there until we came to leave. Getting around Prague is much easier combining foot and tram.

I first stayed in the Extol when it was just coming put of the communist doldrums. It had been a hostel for water workers. A place for them to come to Prague and see the sights. When I say water I don't mean people generally with water, but those that worked in providing fresh water for drinking and of course, the opposite end of the water cycle. Okay. Sewage.

In the mid-90's is began to transform from a hostel into a hotel and for a while you could stay there cheaply with an International Youth Hostel card or pay more for a better room and hotel it. Either way the breakfast buffet was the same! And good it was too. it does make me a little annoyed when western teenagers brought up on the sausage and egg McMuffin culture moan and carp about local dishes. This trip we had a load of them on a coach trip bringing the good old Dixie religion to the pagan Czechs. Grrrr.

Anyway, once checked in to our room, we changed into walking out clothes and set off for the tram around the corner on Komunardů. A short ride into the city and a walk around all the places we have been before but wanted to experience again.

On my first visit to Prague in 1986 a lot of the centre was run down and in need of a coat of paint. It was also deserted. So much so that two Suzuki motorcycles with British registration plates attracted crowds. It was marginally better in May 1989 with a bit of a tidy up. Now it's like any other city with bright lights and the same stores that you find anywhere. Gone are the kiosks selling "smažené sýrové sendviče" (friend cheese sandwiches) or "párek v rohlíku" (Czech hotdogs) and there are McDonald's and other chain restaurants instead.

Although the párek they served at the kiosk at Brno railway station was a good of the very last resort. Whether there was any meat in it might be open to debate!

If anyone has read the Terry Pratchett Discworld books you may have come across a character called CMOT Dibbler. He would have been a purveyor of párek.

Anyway. Into the city and a digital camera flash bang wallop.

Praha - Václavské náměstí

Praha - Václavské náměstí

Prague - Powder Tower / Praha - Mihulka

Prague - Powder Tower / Praha - Mihulka

Praha - Václavské náměstí

Praha - Václavské náměstí

Praha - Vltava pohledu z Karlova mostu

Praha - Vltava pohledu z Karlova mostu

Praha - Vltava pohledu z Karlova mostu

Praha - Vltava pohledu z Karlova mostu

Praha - Vltava pohledu z Karlova mostu

Praha - Vltava pohledu z Karlova mostu

Praha Staroměstské náměstí Hodiny

Praha Staroměstské náměstí Hodiny

Prague

Prague

The journey home was less eventful. n autobahn slog through Germany and Belgium back to the Channel port.

But what a great trip and so many great sights.

Posted by InvictaMoto 10:05 Archived in Czech Republic Comments (2)

Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk

Zelená Hora / Žďár nad Sázavou

Not a long run from Brno this one. Mostly on the terribly rutted and truck laden D1/E50 northwest from Brno in the direction of Prague and then off on S37 to Zelená Hora.

The church stands on a hill. We parked on the side of the main road. it was quite a walk and then red faced we saw we could have turned off a little earlier and parked nearby. Still. We got to puff and pant in hot weather up the hill and back again. The nearby cafe was closed and so we couldn't get a drink or a coffee....

Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk at Zelená Hora

Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk at Zelená Hora

Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk at Zelená Hora

Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk at Zelená Hora

Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk at Zelená Hora

Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk at Zelená Hora

Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk at Zelená Hora

Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk at Zelená Hora

Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk at Zelená Hora

Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk at Zelená Hora

Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk at Zelená Hora

Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk at Zelená Hora

This is a UNESCO heritage site and if you are in the region it is worth the trip to see the architecture.

https://www.unesco-czech.cz/13_4444_zelena-hora-poutni-kostel-sv-jana-nepomuckeho-zdar-nad-sazavou/

Posted by InvictaMoto 10:00 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged pilgrimage_church_of_st_john_of zelená_hora žďár_nad_sázavou Comments (1)

Lednice & Mikulov

As we sat over breakfast at my friend Lilka's house in Popůvky we were thinking of places to go. that day.

We were staying with her and her family. Husband Jarek and son Tomas. When I taught in the grammar school in Zastávka u Brna in the 1990's, she had been a colleague. She is an engineer and she taught computer studies and I taught English!

We hit on the idea of driving a short distance towards Břeclav and maybe trying out some of the Moravian wine cellars. We then decided that that was more of an afternoon and evening this so we would go to Lednice Castle instead.

Popůvky is to the west of Brno and Lednice is to the south-east, a journey of about 65 kilometres. It took about 40 minutes on the highway to get there.

We took a long walk around the gardens and even extravagantly took a ride in a horse and carriage. Not something that my wallet usually stumps up for. But as usual Lilka had driven and we were living rent free for a few days as she won't take any money. usually we pay our way by taking gifts from UK, and paying for visits and meals out. Even then we have to be quick to beat Jarek from paying, often losing out!

I took a few photos as we walked around. The castle had been recently painted and the colour reminded me of a block of Lurpak butter. Not too yellow but awkward!

Lednice Castle - Castle facade

Lednice Castle - Castle facade

Lednice Castle - Castle facade

Lednice Castle - Castle facade

Lednice Castle - Castle facade

Lednice Castle - Castle facade

Lednice Castle - Minaret

Lednice Castle - Minaret

Lednice Castle - Greenhouse

Lednice Castle - Greenhouse

Lednice Castle - tourist boat

Lednice Castle - tourist boat

After that we needed lunch and we retired to an open air restaurant in the town centre to eat. Very nice to sit outside and eat and chat.

On the way back we went a different way via Mikulov. Mikulov is where the border with Austria starts. Back in the 90's I was a regular passer-through here as I made my way to Austria to buy an English newspaper.

It might sound sad now, but nowhere in Brno or the "okres" was that possible. However, at the bar just up the slope in Drasenhofen, Austria, it was possible to buy a two day old paper! Not every week but quite often. As I was on my Suzuki GT750A each time I became known to the border guards and customs. I used my British passport and my Czech foreigner pass each time. The ČR wasn't in the EU at the time and there was a hard border.

Mikulov has a castle and really nice old town and sits mostly on a hill commanding the plain as far as the Morava river and into Austria. We parked up and walked around, some photos got taken, some wine was bought from some of the many cellars/sellers. Tasting for another evening!

Mikulov

Mikulov

Mikulov

Mikulov

Mikulov

Mikulov

Mikulov - Dietrichstein Tomb

Mikulov - Dietrichstein Tomb

Mikulov Castle

Mikulov Castle

Mikulov - St. Sebastian Chapel on the Holy Hill

Mikulov - St. Sebastian Chapel on the Holy Hill

From Mikulov it was a quick journey up S52 to Brno and along to Popůvky.

A really nice day out. Where next?

Posted by InvictaMoto 08:33 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged brno lednice mikulov popůvky moravia Comments (0)

2021 - Possible trip

Czech SOC Rally or MotoGP

With the Covid-19 pandemic causing problems across the globe for travellers, or at least for travellers with some common sense, it looks as though 2020 is "on hold"!

I am looking at a quick trip to Czech to the local Suzuki Owners Club rally. At the moment I am waiting for confirmation from my friend in Brno, Ivan, for the details of where it will be. For a few years it has been at Bolešín to the north-west of Brno.

Planning also means working out how to get a couple of days in the week preceding the rally to travel over. The week after I am on half-term holiday anyway.

It also depends on what bike I am going to ride. My head says take the Rocket but my heart says to take the Kettle. The Kettle will be back (fingers crossed!) by then and it will be nice to go back there under Suzuki power.

An alternative trip would be to Brno again for the MotoGP, and to see friends from my teaching days, both ex teacher colleagues and students.

I have been a few times over the years and would love to take the Kettle on the ride over. That would be easier as I am on holiday in the weeks before and after the race weekend and could be more leisurely in both directions.

Posted by InvictaMoto 10:43 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged motorcycling czech_suzuki_owners_club Comments (0)

Jasná Trip 1992

It was August 1992. I was about to start work at the gymnázium in Zastávka.

It was my last big ride for the year. Once working I would have early starts and finish too late on weekdays to get away.

My partner Audrey had come with me. She was on her GSX750ES. I was on my 1977 Suzuki GT750A aka Kettle.

We decided to have a ride into Slovakia. Looking through the international youth hostel guide book we saw there was one up a dead end valley in Jasná.

We were staying in the youth building near the school. I locked the trailer inside and we set off early.

In the map it was about 250 miles. The Kettle uses far more petrol than the GSX! I should have filled up before we left Brno. The plans was basically
to head east. Stop for a fill up in Trenčín and then head across to Martin and then to Jasná

By the time we got to Trenčín I was running on fumes. Usually in those days as there was a shortage of private vehicles there was a shortage of fuel
stops, and they were pretty well signposted.

Not in Trenčín. We rode around for ages until we arrived at the bus stop. The pumps were behind it. I filled up. Grateful that I hadn't had to push
it.

Brno to Trenčín Is just about 100 miles. I hadn't expected to use so much fuel or I had miscalculated how much I had already used before we set off.

The next fuel stop was Martin. It was only about 75 miles but with a weekend coming along I wanted to have plenty of fuel.

brno-jasna

brno-jasna


We had two nights in the hotel. It wasn't a youth hostel any more but was still cheap. On the full day we were there we decided to walk up the local hill called "Chopok". It seemed like a good idea at the time and it was grassy all the way.

Apologies for the shirt and joggers!

Apologies for the shirt and joggers!

The ride "home" was better. Better fuel management. No further problems. I bought two stroke oil in an OMV station in Austria.

Audrey was going to ride home. We had one last few nights together in a small hotel in Bad Deutsch Altenburg, east of Vienna. Doing nothing but
eating and sitting in the sun. Who would have thought the Danube could be so hot!!

This was another 320kms.

large_b4e353d0-edd7-11ea-b12d-1725362f1b7b.jpg

We rode towards Vienna and stopped just past it on the autobahn for a coffee. Audrey went straight on and I turned off and headed north "home".

bad deutsch-zastavka

bad deutsch-zastavka

"Home" for a year.

In total I did around 850kms on that journey and Audrey did another 1400kms to get home to Bedfordshire.

Posted by InvictaMoto 04:16 Archived in Slovakia Tagged slovakia trencin suzuki_gt750a jasna Comments (0)

2016 - Day Seven

Homeward bound!

The last day. Breakfast where we had plenty plus bags to make a packed lunch. And plenty of coffee. We were off in a slightly roundabout route back to the A3. I had to stop in one village as I had forgotten to put my glasses on!

From here it is difficult to remember the order of things. Ride. Petrol. Snack and repeat.

A little detour around a roundabout on the border with Belgium and France. It means that the eagle eyed men in black could spot terrorists... Yeah.

Some 411 miles later we arrived to the usual up-cock at Eurotunnel. Long delays as the French checked us OUT of their country and almost as long as we got back through British passport control.

Off to the train and on the quay when they decided we weren't going after all as a police car needed the carriage to itself.

It was impossible to go back and so we watched, four bikes and nine cars, as the train on a parallel platform loaded and buggered off. Shambles.

In the end we set off almost an hour late. No apology for buggering about.

Instead of being home just after 1815 UK time it was nearer 1915.

It was over. After all that riding I needed a sit down!

So that was it for another two years.

2009 Assen Dutch TT
2012 Le Mans MotoGP
2014 British MotoGP
2016 Czech MotoGP
2019 Le Mans MotoGP?

Homeward Bound

Homeward Bound

Homeward Bound

Homeward Bound

The total mileage for me on Trip 2 turned out to 1767.3 miles. Over the course of the week the miles per gallon ranged from 44.09 to a high of 54.52. The highest was on the section through Germany to Zolder in Belgium.

Posted by InvictaMoto 16:00 Archived in Germany Tagged motorcycling motogp Comments (0)

2016 - Day Six

Popuvky to

On Monday morning we hopped in the car and head to Bystrc to an oplatky specialist where I could buy a few boxes to bring home for us to eat, some for work and some for Claire's friend in Hythe.

Oplatky

Oplatky

Then we packed up. Posed for photos and were off.

Our first petrol stop was only a few yards up the road from Lilka's and as I had a lot of crowns I paid cash. I still had a lot of crowns. Our route back was pretty much similar to the way we had come except we strayed off the S20 to the north of Pisek and that's where things got messy. A brief ride up S3 then a left onto S19.

There were signs to say a bridge over the Vltava, Ždákovský most, was closed but we were certain there would be a marked diversion. As it happened there wasn't. Cars in every direction trying to work out where the heck to go. After about 30 minutes we reset the TomTom for Pribram and off we went in a northerly direction around a lake formed by the Vltava and a dam, to Orlik. The road here was cobble city idaho for miles and miles before we once again joined S19 to the other side of the downed bridge.

It was here we saw a marked diversion to Tabor, where we had just come from off S3!! We had another petrol and lunch stop just short of Pribram. I used up some change buying some drink and more wafers (oplatky) to take home.

Once on the D5 near Plzen we upped the pace to try and recover the lost 50 minutes on the diversion and the fact it was already 4.30pm at the lunch stop.

We arrived at Zum Grunen Baum about 1930! Here we had single rooms for €30 each complete with bathroom and wifi. Free parking outside.

Zum Grunen Baum

Zum Grunen Baum

Zum Grunen Baum

Zum Grunen Baum

Zum Grunen Baum

Zum Grunen Baum

Zum Grunen Baum

Zum Grunen Baum

Zum Grunen Baum

Zum Grunen Baum

Zum Grunen Baum

Zum Grunen Baum

Posted by InvictaMoto 20:00 Archived in Czech Republic Comments (0)

2016 - Day Five

Raceday at Brno

Up early and the weather had turned. From about 3am it had been raining. It was still raining as we had breakfast and then set off to get the free bus from just up the road from Lilka's house.

This time not wearing shorts and t-shirt but full bike waterproofs and boots. We were equipped with borrowed umbrellas.

We decided to cut the trek and view from the bank at G. I think the hill is the one called Horsepower Hill. We had a good spot right at the top where it was flat and then at times had to defend from people that think standing an inch from you is acceptable. Maybe on a Tokyo subway train, just maybe!

MotoGP Race Day

MotoGP Race Day

MotoGP Race Day

MotoGP Race Day

MotoGP Race Day

MotoGP Race Day

MotoGP Race Day

MotoGP Race Day

MotoGP Race Day

MotoGP Race Day

MotoGP Race Day

MotoGP Race Day

MotoGP Race Day

MotoGP Race Day

MotoGP Race Day

MotoGP Race Day

It rained through warm-up and to the start of the MotoGP race. This benefited the British racers as Scottish rider John McPhee won Moto3 by a country mile, Sam Lowes finished third in Moto2 and inspired tyre choice saw Cal Crutchlow in the MotoGP race from Valentino Rossi (hurrah) and Mark Marquez (boo-hiss).

We sang the National Anthem twice on the day. Pity the other British were too ignorant to join in.

As Red Bull Rookies started we had a wander and as part of the thank you gift, we bought Tomas a GP16 baseball cap.

The bus ride back wasn't as bad as the way up. No 45 minutes of travel chaos caused by police not enforcing the bus lane to the circuit. So on the way back we weren't sweating in non aircon buses whilst wearing full gear!!

Our last evening in Brno. We have been invited to a meal with Jiri in Ostrovacice and so we piled in Lilka's car and headed off. They had cleared up pretty well and there was hardly a sign of the signage for the GP circuit as we went past. Just the darned roadworks blocking the nearby entrance to the D1.

Jiri's new house he is building is a tech marvel with electronic controls and an eco roof. The former way over my head.

We had a great time and then headed, full up, back to bed.

Posted by InvictaMoto 20:00 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged motorcycling brno motogp Comments (0)

2016 - Day Four

Qualifying Day

Saturday morning and Lilka had made a huge breakfast.

We ate that and then got ready and set off for the bus stop up the road.

We had agreed that when we came back we would take Lilka, Jarek and Tomas to dinner and maybe a little wine tasting at Pavlov.

The authorities put on free buses from the city centre to the circuit every ten to fifteen minutes and we got lucky.

Within ten minutes we were in the circuit and looking for viewing area C.

In the end we found the tunnel and then the long walk to C. It was pretty packed by the time we got there but we found a square where we could set up camp for the day.

The weather was really hot. I was glad I had liberally covered myself in Factor 50.

Without a camera the photos I took came out pretty shitty or a bit distant.

Qualifying Day

Qualifying Day

Qualifying Day

Qualifying Day

Qualifying Day

Qualifying Day

Qualifying Day

Qualifying Day

After qualifying we trudged back to the buses and were lucky enough to get the next one out and back in the house in ten minutes.

We needed a wash'n'brush up before going out. Lilka had made a goulash soup and we had a bowl before getting ready.

We all bundled into Jarek's car and headed out to Brno first and then to a restaurant.

We spent a little too long on Brno but Neill got to see something of the city.

Cathedral - Petrov

Cathedral - Petrov

Katedrala svateho Petra a Pavla

Katedrala svateho Petra a Pavla

Brno Walkabout

Brno Walkabout

Harley in Brno

Harley in Brno

Brno Walkabout

Brno Walkabout

Brno Walkabout

Brno Walkabout

Brno Walkabout

Brno Walkabout

I had ribs!

Beer and Ribs

Beer and Ribs

Beer and Ribs

Beer and Ribs

Before we could react Jarek was up and paid the bill. We had to have a plan.

From the restaurant we headed south to Pavlov. The journey extended by roadworks. We flew past the old town hall where I thought we were going. It's where Claire and I went with them in 2011. Instead we stopped outside a new looking building called Venuse - Pálavská galerie vín U Venuše

We had a wine tasting. In the cellar were 65 different wines from the local villages sorted by village, then from dry to sweet.

I managed 23 before I gave up. Each time drink at most a half inch in the glass. Neill was way ahead in the 30's. We decided that to get a chance to pay we would buy Lilka's favourite wines and then give them to her on Monday before we left.

Wine Tasting

Wine Tasting

Wine Tasting

Wine Tasting

Wine Tasting

Wine Tasting

I had already brought two bottles of English wine from the Chapel Down Vineyard in Kent. It was locked in a pannier and wrapped in bubble wrap and a travel blanket.

At least that plan worked.

We got back pretty late and went straight to bed.

Tomorrow is race day.

Posted by InvictaMoto 20:00 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged motorcycling motogp Comments (0)

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